Coriolanus


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter two Officers, to lay cushions, as it were in the

Capitol


FIRST OFFICER

Come, come, they are almost here. How

many stand for consulships?


SECOND OFFICER

Three, they say; but 'tis thought of

everyone Coriolanus will carry it.
carry (v.) 1 secure, obtain, gain


FIRST OFFICER

That's a brave fellow, but he's vengeance
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive See Topics: Frequency count
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive See Topics: Frequency count
vengeance (adv.) exceedingly, intensely, tremendously

proud and loves not the common people.


SECOND OFFICER

Faith, there hath been many great men

that have flattered the people, who ne'er loved them; and

there be many that they have loved, they know not

wherefore. So that, if they love they know not why, they

hate upon no better a ground. Therefore, for Coriolanus

neither to care whether they love or hate him manifests

the true knowledge he has in their disposition, and out of
disposition (n.) 3 inclination, mood, frame of mind

his noble carelessness lets them plainly see't.
carelessness (n.) indifference, inattention, unconcern [about public opinion]


FIRST OFFICER

If he did not care whether he had their

love or no, he waved indifferently 'twixt doing them
indifferently (adv.) 1 impartially, equally, alike
wave (v.) 1 waver, vacillate, alternate

neither good nor harm. But he seeks their hate with

greater devotion than they can render it him, and leaves

nothing undone that may fully discover him their opposite.
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count
opposite (n.) 1 opponent, adversary, anatagonist

Now to seem to affect the malice and displeasure of
affect (v.) 5 cultivate, aim at, seek out
malice (n.) hostility, hatred, ill-will, enmity

the people is as bad as that which he dislikes – to flatter

them for their love.


SECOND OFFICER

He hath deserved worthily of his country;

and his ascent is not by such easy degrees as those
degree (n.) 3 step, stage, rung

who, having been supple and courteous to the people,

bonneted, without any further deed to have them at all,
bonnet (v.) take off the hat, remove the bonnet [in respect or flattery]

into their estimation and report. But he hath so planted
estimation (n.) 1 esteem, respect, reputation
report (n.) 1 reputation, fame, renown

his honours in their eyes and his actions in their hearts

that for their tongues to be silent and not confess so much

were a kind of ingrateful injury. To report otherwise
ingrateful (adj.) 2 unacceptable, displeasing, disagreeable

were a malice that, giving itself the lie, would pluck

reproof and rebuke from every ear that heard it.
reproof (n.) 2 rebuff, rebuke, censure


FIRST OFFICER

No more of him, he's a worthy man.

Make way, they are coming.

A sennet. Enter the Patricians and the Tribunes of the

People, Lictors before them; Coriolanus, Menenius,

Cominius the Consul. Sicinius and Brutus take their

places by themselves


MENENIUS

Having determined of the Volsces and
determine (v.) 1 make a decision [about], reach a conclusion [about]

To send for Titus Lartius, it remains,

As the main point of this our after-meeting,
after-meeting (n.) follow-up meeting

To gratify his noble service that
gratify (v.) 1 reward, repay, show gratitude for

Hath thus stood for his country. Therefore please you,
stand for (v.) 1 defend, uphold, protect, support

Most reverend and grave elders, to desire

The present consul and last general

In our well-found successes to report
well-found (adj.) 2 commendable, meritorious, laudable

A little of that worthy work performed

By Caius Martius Coriolanus, whom

We met here both to thank and to remember
remember (v.) 3 commemorate, acknowledge, reward, recognize

With honours like himself.


FIRST SENATOR

                         Speak, good Cominius.

Leave nothing out for length, and make us think

Rather our state's defective for requital
requital (n.) recompense, reward, repayment

Than we to stretch it out. (To the Tribunes) Masters o'th' people,

We do request your kindest ears, and after,

Your loving motion toward the common body
motion (n.) 5 urging, prompting, encouragement

To yield what passes here.
yield (v.) 1 agree [to], consent [to], comply [with]


SICINIUS

                         We are convented

Upon a pleasing treaty, and have hearts
convent (v.) 1 bring together, assemble, convene
treaty (n.) entreaty, proposal for agreement, proposition

Inclinable to honour and advance

The theme of our assembly.


BRUTUS

                         Which the rather

We shall be blest to do, if he remember
blessed, blest (adj.) 2 happy, glad, joyful

A kinder value of the people than

He hath hereto prized them at.
off (adj.) beside the point, irrelevant


MENENIUS

                         That's off, that's off!

I would you rather had been silent. Please you

To hear Cominius speak?


BRUTUS

                         Most willingly.

But yet my caution was more pertinent

Than the rebuke you give it.


MENENIUS

                         He loves your people;

But tie him not to be their bedfellow.
tie (v.) 1 oblige, constrain, force

Worthy Cominius, speak.

Coriolanus rises, and offers to go away
offer (v.) 1 attempt, start, try, make a move

                         Nay, keep your place.


FIRST SENATOR

Sit, Coriolanus, never shame to hear

What you have nobly done.


CORIOLANUS

                         Your honours' pardon.

I had rather have my wounds to heal again

Than hear say how I got them.


BRUTUS

                         Sir, I hope

My words disbenched you not.
disbench (v.) unseat, make rise
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count


CORIOLANUS

No, sir. Yet oft,

When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.

You soothed not, therefore hurt not. But your people,
soothe (v.) 2 flatter, praise, sweet-talk

I love them as they weigh –


MENENIUS

                         Pray now, sit down.


CORIOLANUS

I had rather have one scratch my head i'th' sun

When the alarum were struck than idly sit
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 1 call to arms, call to battle, signal to begin fighting See Topics: Stage directions
strike (v.), past form stroke 2 beat, sound, strike up

To hear my nothings monstered.

Exit Coriolanus
monster (v.) 2 describe as something wonderful, make into an unnatural marvel


MENENIUS

                         Masters of the people,

Your multiplying spawn how can he flatter –

That's thousand to one good one – when you now see

He had rather venture all his limbs for honour

Than one on's ears to hear it. Proceed, Cominius.


COMINIUS

I shall lack voice. The deeds of Coriolanus

Should not be uttered feebly. It is held

That valour is the chiefest virtue and

Most dignifies the haver. If it be,
haver (n.) possessor, holder, displayer

The man I speak of cannot in the world

Be singly counterpoised. At sixteen years,
counterpoise (v.) 1 equal, match, rival
singly (adv.) 1 by another person, by a single individual

When Tarquin made a head for Rome, he fought
head (n.) 1 fighting force, army, body of troops

Beyond the mark of others. Our then dictator,
mark (n.) 2 reach, aim, range

Whom with all praise I point at, saw him fight

When with his Amazonian chin he drove
Amazonian (adj.) 2 Amazon-like; beardless, hairless See Topics: Classical mythology

The bristled lips before him. He bestrid

An o'erpressed Roman and i'th' Consul's view
overpressed (adj.) overpowered, overwhelmed, overcome

Slew three opposers. Tarquin's self he met,

And struck him on his knee. In that day's feats,

When he might act the woman in the scene,

He proved best man i'th' field, and for his meed
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
meed (n.) 1 reward, prize, recompense

Was brow-bound with the oak. His pupil age
brow-bind (v.) wreathe around the brow
oak (n.) crown of oak leaves [awarded to a victorious soldier]
pupil (adj.) of being a pupil, as an apprentice

Man-entered thus, he waxed like a sea,
man-entered (adj.) entered into manhood
wax (v.) 2 grow, increase, enlarge

And in the brunt of seventeen battles since
brunt (n.) shock, violence, ferocity

He lurched all swords of the garland. For this last,
lurch (v.) rob, cheat
sword (n.) soldier, sword-wielder

Before and in Corioles, let me say

I cannot speak him home. He stopped the fliers,
home (adv.) 1 fully, thoroughly, unsparingly
speak (v.) 5 find language for, say in words about

And by his rare example made the coward

Turn terror into sport. As weeds before
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

A vessel under sail, so men obeyed

And fell below his stem. His sword, death's stamp,
stamp (n.) 1 impression, mark, imprint
stem (n.) prow, bows

Where it did mark, it took from face to foot.
take (v.) 9 make an impression

He was a thing of blood, whose every motion

Was timed with dying cries. Alone he entered
time (v.) measure rhythmically, accompany regularly

The mortal gate of th' city, which he painted
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal

With shunless destiny; aidless came off,
shunless (adj.) unavoidable, inescapable, certain

And with a sudden reinforcement struck
reinforcement (n.) fresh attack, renewal of force
strike (v.), past form stroke 5 have an evil influence, do harm

Corioles like a planet. Now all's his,

When by and by the din of war 'gan pierce
by and by (adv.) 1 immediately, straightaway, directly
gin, 'gin (v.) begin [to]

His ready sense, then straight his doubled spirit
doubled (adj.) redoubled in strength, twice as strong as previously
ready (adj.) 3 alert, vigilant, attentive
sense (n.) 1 senses, sensation, organs of sense
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Requickened what in flesh was fatigate,
fatigate (adj.) fatigued, weary, tired
requicken (v.) revive, reanimate, refresh

And to the battle came he, where he did

Run reeking o'er the lives of men, as if
reek (v.) 1 steam, smoke, give off vapour

'Twere a perpetual spoil; and till we called
spoil (n.) 3 slaughter, destruction, ruination

Both field and city ours he never stood
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
stand (v.) 4 stand still, stop, cease moving

To ease his breast with panting.
worthy (adj.) 3 estimable, admirable, heroic


MENENIUS

                         Worthy man!


FIRST SENATOR

He cannot but with measure fit the honours
fit (v.) 1 suit, befit, be suitable [for]
measure, with liberally, abundantly, lavishly

Which we devise him.
devise (v.) 4 give, assign, confer on
kick at (v.) spurn, scorn, reject with contempt
spoil (n.) 2 plunder, booty


COMINIUS

                         Our spoils he kicked at,

And looked upon things precious as they were

The common muck of the world. He covets less

Than misery itself would give, rewards
misery (n.) complete poverty, destitution, beggary

His deeds with doing them, and is content

To spend the time to end it.
end (v.) 1 provide an end for, give purpose to


MENENIUS

                         He's right noble.

Let him be called for.


FIRST SENATOR

                         Call Coriolanus.

Enter Coriolanus


OFFICER

He doth appear.


MENENIUS

The Senate, Coriolanus, are well pleased

To make thee consul.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


CORIOLANUS

                         I do owe them still

My life and services.


MENENIUS

                         It then remains

That you do speak to the people.


CORIOLANUS

                         I do beseech you

Let me o'erleap that custom, for I cannot
overleap (v.) 1 pass over, pass by , skip

Put on the gown, stand naked, and entreat them
naked (adj.) 4 exposed to view

For my wounds' sake to give their suffrage. Please you
suffrage (n.) vote, approval, consent

That I may pass this doing.
pass (v.) 11 let pass, omit, avoid


SICINIUS

                         Sir, the people

Must have their voices, neither will they bate
bate (v.) 4 omit, lose, leave out
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

One jot of ceremony.
put (v.) 2 force, press, thrust


MENENIUS

                         Put them not to't.

Pray you go fit you to the custom and
fit (v.) 3 adapt, conform, accommodate

Take to you, as your predecessors have,

Your honour with your form.
form (n.) 7 position, rank, status


CORIOLANUS

                         It is a part

That I shall blush in acting, and might well

Be taken from the people.


BRUTUS

(to Sicinius)
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

                         Mark you that?


CORIOLANUS

To brag unto them ‘ Thus I did, and thus!’,

Show them th' unaching scars which I should hide,

As if I had received them for the hire

Of their breath only!
stand upon (v.) 1 make an issue of, insist upon, bother about


MENENIUS

                         Do not stand upon't.

We recommend to you, Tribunes of the People,
recommend (v.) 1 commit, commend, consign

Our purpose to them; and to our noble Consul
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Wish we all joy and honour.


SENATORS

To Coriolanus come all joy and honour!

Flourish. Cornets. Then exeunt.

Sicinius and Brutus stay behind


BRUTUS

You see how he intends to use the people.


SICINIUS

May they perceive's intent! He will require them
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count
require (v.) 1 request, ask, beg

As if he did contemn what he requested
contemn (v.) despise, scorn, treat with contempt

Should be in them to give.


BRUTUS

                         Come, we'll inform them

Of our proceedings here. On th' market-place

I know they do attend us.
attend (v.) 1 await, wait for, expect See Topics: Frequency count

Exeunt

 
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